Cargo agents, counsellors and tour guides were the fastest growing in demand jobs of 2023 - NIjobs

Aidan Walker of Walking Tours Belfast. Picture by Hugh Russell
Aidan Walker of Walking Tours Belfast. Demand for tour guides increased significantly in 2023, according to research by NIJobs. PICTURE: Hugh Russell

Cargo agents, counsellors and tour guides were the fastest growing in demand jobs last year, data compiled by NIJobs suggests.

The online recruitment website said quantity surveyors, software engineers and electricians were consistently the most in demand roles in Northern Ireland during 2023.

Skilled IT professionals and construction workers were also much sought after, according to the research.

NIjobs said skills shortages, high levels of employment and record low rates of unemployment empowered job seekers in 2023.

It found that the largest year-on-year increase in demand was for cargo agent roles in logistics, counsellors in healthcare and tour guide positions.

“These roles, which have seen considerable growth provide insight into what is happening at a societal and economic level,” said Sam Dooley, of The Stepstone Group Ireland, which owns the website,

He said last year was an encouraging one for recruitment despite the backdrop of the cost-of-living crisis, inflation hikes, and increased operational and energy costs for businesses.

“The continued demand for cargo agents would indicate that freight is exceptionally busy, but alongside that come the extra demands and paperwork that are required through the Windsor Framework around goods entering and leaving Northern Ireland.” Mr Dooley said the rising demand for counsellors reflected growing concerns around mental health, while demand for travel guides reflected the investment in tourism.

“These trends tell us that recruitment is likely to become more competitive as employers work hard to address those challenges around filling roles,” he said.

“In an environment where budgets are increasingly stretched, it has never been more important to tap into broader and more diverse talent pools to attract, engage and retain talent to safeguard businesses and employees for the future.”